Above Ontario Place existing info unit.
The Toronto and East York Community Council recommends that.
1. City Council adopt the following Proposed Guiding Principles for the Revitalization of Ontario Place. Based on the Central Waterfront Secondary Plan (CWSP), the principles have been revised and expanded to reflect Ontario Place’s unique context as well as feedback received from the public. The principles, as shown below, are intended to be read and interpreted in the context of the Central Waterfront Secondary Plan;
a. Removing Barriers/Making Connections
i. The City of Toronto should work jointly with the Province of Ontario on the integration of planning, programming and governance and consider rationalizing land ownership matters at Ontario Place and Exhibition Place in order to realize natural synergies between the two properties; and
ii. Explore opportunities to reduce the barrier effect of Lake Shore Boulevard West between Exhibition Place and Ontario Place.
iii. Ensure any future planning along Lake Shore Boulevard West is coordinated with a strategy to improve connectivity between the two properties, and provides a human-scaled edge to the popular Martin Goodman Trail;
b. Building a Network of Spectacular Waterfront Parks and Public Spaces
i. Secure and enhance public access for the full length of the Ontario Place shoreline.
ii. Retain Trillium Park and the William Davis Trail as key place-making features at Ontario Place.
iii. Explore low-impact recreational uses for the West Island shoreline; and
iv. Consult with Indigenous peoples, including the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation on opportunities to weave Indigenous placemaking into the fabric of Ontario Place;
c. Promoting a Clean and Green Environment
i. Utilize findings of the Council-endorsed Waterfront Transit Network Plan to improve access to, from and between Ontario Place and Exhibition Place.
ii. Explore opportunities to consolidate large expanses of surface parking below grade in order to create a more walkable and transit-supportive environment;
iii. Implement the City’s draft biodiversity strategy, build on the success of Trillium Park, extend green corridors into Exhibition Place; and
iv. Protect and strengthen the site’s shoreline Natural Heritage features;
d. Creating Dynamic and Diverse New Communities
i. The City of Toronto should seek to partner with the Province of Ontario on a coordinated consultation strategy for the redevelopment of both Ontario Place and Exhibition Place. This should involve consultation with local, regional and provincial-wide stakeholders; and
ii. Ontario Place should include a mix of non-residential uses and activities that reflect its waterfront location and rebuild its original goal of being a showcase and destination for Ontario;
The rest f the long report below.
e. Openness and Transparency
i. Make decisions through public process, with full transparency of the governance decision-making processes;
f. Responsiveness to the Broader Community
i. Conduct inclusive and meaningful consultations, including the City, Toronto residents, Indigenous peoples and the broader citizens of Ontario. Make decisions in the broader public interest.
2. City Council request the Province of Ontario to work jointly with the City on the revitalization of Ontario Place and to develop a coordinated planning process that leverages the opportunities and synergies of both the Ontario Place and Exhibition Place sites, and has regard for the City’s Guiding Principles, City objectives for the development of the central waterfront, and existing City and Exhibition Place plans.
3. City Council authorize the City Manager and the Deputy City Manager, Infrastructure and Development Services, in consultation with the Mayor, the Chair of the Ontario Place Subcommittee and the Chair of the Exhibition Place Board, to engage in discussions with the Province on a joint planning and public consultation process for the revitalization of Ontario Place and Exhibition Place, subject to the guiding principles adopted by City Council.
4. City Council require an open and transparent decision-making process with regard to evaluating proposals for the revitalization of Ontario Place, that includes public and stakeholder consultation and uses the guiding principles adopted by City Council, and request the City Manager and the Deputy City Manager, Infrastructure and Development Services to report back on details of any proposed evaluation plan before any evaluation process begins.
5. City Council forward a copy of the report (April 5, 2019) from the Director, Community Planning, Toronto and East York District to the Board of Governors of Exhibition Place for its information.
(April 5, 2019) Report from the Director, Community Planning, Toronto and East York District
Opened in 1971, Ontario Place was envisioned as a “provincial showcase” of the Province’s history, culture, economy and peoples. Inspired by Expo ’67, the design was conceived by highly renowned Canadian designers Eberhard Zeidler (architecture) with Michael Hough (landscape architecture). Ontario Place has since been recognized internationally as an urban waterfront park and iconic part of Toronto’s Central Waterfront.
Due to declining attendance, the facility was partially closed in 2012 to consider redevelopment and a reimaging of Ontario Place. In 2014, the Minister’s Special Advisory Panel on Ontario Place released a report based on a comprehensive, Province wide consultation process. The report recognized the importance of public access and retention of parkland with a dynamic mix of uses to re-establish Ontario Place as a waterfront destination. Building on this vision, Trillium Park and the William G. Davis Trail opened in 2017, followed by the reopening of a refurbished Cinesphere. According to some reports, these recent investments in Ontario Place provided a significant boost in attendance in recent years.
On January 18, 2019, the Government of Ontario announced its intent to release an Expression of Interest (EOI) to seek development concepts for Ontario Place. The announcement outlined specific parameters for development. The provincial government’s stated vision for Ontario Place is to create “a world-class year round destination that will attract local, provincial and international visitors – with potential landmarks such as sports and entertainment attractions and retail.”
In advance of the EOI’s expected release in the spring of 2019, the Toronto and East York Community Council established a Subcommittee on Ontario Place in order to solicit feedback from the public regarding their views and thoughts on the future of Ontario Place, and on the principles that should inform the redevelopment of the site. The Subcommittee’s first public meeting was held on March 5, 2019.
Summarizes the public deputations and communications received by the Subcommittee;
Sets out principles to guide the City in its discussions with the Province regarding the revitalization of Ontario Place;
Provides an update regarding the status of consultations with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation;
Provides an update on the ongoing heritage evaluation of Ontario Place being undertaken by City staff; and
Identifies opportunities to coordinate planning and urban design initiatives across Ontario Place and Exhibition Place, including the Exhibition Place Master Plan process.
As the owner of the adjacent Exhibition Place, the City of Toronto has a long-standing interest in the future of Ontario Place. Together, these facilities form an important component of the waterfront. The City’s interests in and vision for the future of both properties are described in the Central Waterfront Secondary Plan (CWSP). Since 2003, the Central Waterfront Secondary Plan has informed the City’s position on the future of Ontario Place directly and indirectly in the form of four Core Principles as follows:
1. Removing Barriers/Making Connections;
2. Building a Network of Spectacular Waterfront Parks & Public Spaces;
3. Promoting a Clean & Green Environment; and
4. Creating Dynamic & Diverse New Communities.
At the March 5, 2019 Subcommittee meeting on Ontario Place, the Director of Community Planning, Toronto and East York District provided a presentation on Ontario Place that summarized the historical and current context of the site. Approximately 34 speakers provided the subcommittee with their comments regarding the Province’s initiative. The subcommittee also received 28 written submissions. City staff were directed to report back on the substance of the public’s comments to the April 24, 2019 meeting of the Toronto and East York Community Council. City staff were also directed to: consult with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation on the development of principles for the revitalization of Ontario Place; evaluate the inclusion of the site into the City’s Heritage Register; and consider opportunities for coordinated planning and urban design initiatives with Exhibition Place.
In response to the Subcommittee’s directions, this report provides a summary of six key themes heard at the March 5 meeting, as well as updates on the status of ongoing consultations. The six key themes are as follows:
1. Public Ownership and Access;
2. Establishing and Strengthening Connections;
3. Indigenous Representation;
4. Cultural and Landscape Heritage;
5. Establish a Mix of Non-Residential Uses; and
6. More Consultation Required.
After assessing the feedback received from the public, City staff are of the view that the current Central Waterfront Secondary Plan Core Principles remain an appropriate framework to guide the revitalization of Ontario Place. It is recommended that these principles be refined and expanded to reflect Ontario Place’s unique context and comments from the public.
Furthermore, given the level of public interest in Ontario Place, as well as its proximity to Exhibition Place and the City’s interest in coordinating planning and urban design initiatives between the two facilities, two additional principles related to governance and transparency are also recommended. The refined and expanded principles shown in Recommendation 1 of this report are intended to provide a framework for the City’s ongoing consultations with stakeholders and continuing dialogue with the Province regarding the revitalization of Ontario Place. They are also intended to be read and interpreted within the context of the in-force Central Waterfront Secondary Plan.
In terms of consultation, staff from the City’s Indigenous Affairs Office have begun the process of discussions on the principles identified to date, including the preliminary principle that the City should seek the preservation of existing Indigenous place-making features (e.g. the Moccasin Identifier Project in Trillium Park) and identify future opportunities for appropriate recognition, celebration and commemoration. Consultations will continue with the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and, given the importance of the waterfront to many Indigenous communities and other interested parties on an ongoing basis.
Heritage Preservation staff are in the process of preparing a report to include the property on the City’s Heritage Register in accordance with the Subcommittee’s direction. A separate report on Exhibition Place, summarizing the findings of the Cultural Heritage Landscape Assessment and next steps for the site’s Master Planning exercise, will also be before the April 24th meeting of the Toronto and East York Community Council.
A map showing Ontario Place is provided in Attachment 2 of this report.